July 10, 2007 at 11:32 #107064robnorthParticipant
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It’s a case of the difference in definition of cleverness and genius. Genius would be top of the ‘clever tree’ perhaps?
On an associated topic, but going off at a tangent, it reminds me of a trick that was used in the days of ‘Maiden Auction’ 2yo events where the weight carried was determined by sale price at public auction. The trick was to enter the horse in a quiet little livestock sale or horse sale and buy it back for a few hundred guineas, thus ensuring bottom weight in auction races.
This loophole was closed by making such events ‘Median Auction’ based on median sale price of a sire’s progeny.
RobJuly 10, 2007 at 11:37 #107066beauzamMember
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To answer the question ,its a trip away from home,stalls practice in a raceday environment,and a gallop without any pressure thus enhancing the possabilities of a young horse relaxing in running.The inability to learn from other countries and provide a systematic means of publicly trialling leaves one with no other option.Far from comdemnation his practices should met with applause for their thoroughness
By contrast David Elsworth convinces his owners to part with 45k for King Joshua at the 06 HIT sale and then proceeds to run him at Leicester and Epsom,two tracks that have notable inclines.The horse takes a good grip and racing at these venues hardly suit to enable the horse to learn to settle.Inexplicably he then steps him up further in trip only to watch the horse waste energy pulling yet still running well.A stopgap measure is to then dial him back to 10f and he again runs creditably finishing a solid 3rd to Jalil at Ripon.I don’t know the ins and outs of the programming schedule,not having access to a calender nor do I claim familiarity with the horses daily wellbeing but superficially he appears to have been handled all wrong.What I can do is suggest a remedy taking a leaf out of Sir Mark’s "training for dummies".
Drop the horse back to 6f on the a.w. ride him cold,let him get run off his feet and pass only the stragglers.Rrun up as many blind alleys as possible thus negating the need to use the whip.When he’s done that 2 or 3 times step him up to that lowly mile maiden that he’ll still be elidgible for and then proceed after winning to run him at his logical trip 10-12f as horse who relaxes and tries his best.
King Joshua’s current abscence from the radar indicates gelding,but when he returns and wins a big handicap next year and Elsworth explains that the operation was the making of the horse,that may be only half the story.July 10, 2007 at 12:28 #107075stevedvgMember
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I’m guessing it was my comments on another thread ("Little Falbravs and Dalakhanis") that sparked this one.
I’m well aware of SMP’s techniques and I saw him pull off one of his successes at Musselburgh yesterday.
Prescott tends to do a good job of getting black type for his quality fillies so I’m guessing that this filly simply isn’t pattern class.
SteveJuly 10, 2007 at 13:06 #107078HimselfParticipant
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Genius is a word that is too often bandied about these to days when referring to people involved in sport. When I think of genius in horse racing terms, I think more along the lines of Vincent O’Brien.
Sir Mark Prescott seems a very shrewd trainer/man. He has plotted some nice handicap wins during his career. Although he has in the past been labelled a stern and hard task master, he has always struck me as having a good sense of humour – judging by some of his occasional tv appearances and the funny anecdotes he has related to Alastair Down.
Gambling Only Pays When You're WinningJuly 10, 2007 at 15:21 #107117the welsh wizardMember
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Genius is a ridiculous word to use in connection with anyone involved in racing. If a real genuis was to spend his time piddling about training racehorses he ought to be shot for abusing his talents. I suggest that "expert" is a more appropriate term. Meanwhile, I would compare Prescott with Dandy Nicholls. Prescott gets well-bred horses ridiculously low handicap marks and exploits them. Good for him. Nicholls gets horses that have performed moderately and improves them – that, for me, is real expertise. Amongst his peers, Richard Fahey and John Quinn would appear to have the same knack. All credit to them.July 10, 2007 at 16:05 #107139heffoMember
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I wouldn’t dare suggest that Prescott isn’t a good trainer, he obvious is. However if I was one of his owners,having spent 100k+ on a horse he was training, can’t say I’d be celebrating into the early hours when it won it’s 3rd Hcap in a 2 week peroid winning a total of 11k at unbackable prices. Imo owners are paying big money for him to have his fun. As others have already mentioned in this thread, we are all entitled to our opinion on his methods but I just don’t find it that impressive. More impressive is the trainer getting wins out of moderate horses, purchased at moderate prices.July 10, 2007 at 17:31 #107168apracingParticipant
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Genius is certainly the wrong word, but can anybody name another trainer that has pushed the racing authorities into changing the way races are programmed on four occasions.
His expertise has always been to find the best way to exploit the existing program in ways that enable him to win multiple races with his horses.
Younger members won’t remember Spindrifter (most wins as a 2-y-old) or Misty Halo (won over twenty races, mostly those for lady riders). But neither of those bore any relation to the ‘three runs over 6F, move into staying handicaps’ approach.
As for the idea that winning small races with well bred or expensive horses is somehow ‘cheating’ his owners, that overlooks the fact that his horses sell extremely well because jumping trainers know they will have been looked after and won’t be anything like the usual jarred up, hyperactive and injury prone show ponies that get sent to the sales.
Starting small on the flat didn’t harmed the likes of Inglis Drever, No Refuge etc etc. They are typical and reflect the fact that Prescott has worked out that prize money isn’t a key issue if you can turn a profit when you sell.
Most of the coments on this thread seem to view Prescott as a one trick pony, but even in recent years, he’s had plenty of 2-y-old winners, and he’s had top class horses at all distances, not just the staying handicappers.
APJuly 10, 2007 at 17:41 #107174HimselfParticipant
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Let’s not forget that Sir Mark Prescott trained Alborada to win back – to – back Champion Stakes – a group 1 race.
Gambling Only Pays When You're WinningJuly 10, 2007 at 17:55 #107180yeatsParticipant
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Variety is the spice of life, think he’s had a couple of big price 2yo winners this season, one at 33/1.July 10, 2007 at 18:12 #107189non vintageMember
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He had a 3yo maiden, second time up, finish 2nd beaten a whisker at 66/1 the other day.
As ever, tread carefully…July 10, 2007 at 18:52 #107194Shadow LeaderMember
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Rob – I’m afraid you have missed my point completely. I don’t believe that Prescott is guilty of anything other than preparing very expensively-bred horses for a 3-y-o career than involves running in low-grade handicaps, when they should be competing at a more exalted level. His is a crime against no Rules of Racing, but against ambition, and from a man who delights in calling himself a sportsman. What on earth is the pleasure derived by owners of the financial stature of Kirsten Rausing in winning handicaps at Brighton?
I’m clearly missing something here as well – where has it been said that Prescott is preparing the horse for lowly handicaps at Brighton or anywhere else? Maybe, just maybe, the horse has been forward enough at home to run early in its 2yo career and was ready to run, at a distance its dam had won over? It doesn’t necessarily follow that SMP is planning a handicap coup with the horse!
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